Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > The crispy clear sound on Queen Rock Montreal?

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ploughman user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 04 Jun 10, 17:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen have been known overdubbing their live maerial a few times.

At least all the livealbums and videos that were released when Freddie was alive, where corrected a little, as far as live vocal is concerned.

Rainbow 74,  nearly all are studio vocals.
Live Killers overdubbed and many vocals were "flown" from different concerts, since many shows were recorded
Wembley 86, Freddie corrected higher screams here and there later in studio (you can check this out from the radio broadcast whish is un-overdubbed)
This is usual and at least for the 1986, Freddie needed this, since the voice was not always in a top condition.

But the newer releases Live at the Bowl 1982 and Queen Rock Montreal 1981 don't have these overdubs for vocal, I would suggest. There are corrections. In Montreal, two nights were recorded, and Queen had the multitracks, so when they spotted some flaws, while re-mixing it a couple of years ago, they must have made correctons with some copy-pasting. The vocals could have been leveled also with some automatic pitc-correction, which is very easy to do while mixing with ProTools for example.

Milton Keynes is nearly untouched, apart from the well-known Fat Bottomed Gilrs -correction.  Maybe some pitch-sifter here aswell?

Freddie was indeed in a unbelieavable condition for the Montreal Shows if the vocal is purely live as it seems. The whole band was actually. From youtube you can check the live broadcasts from Caracas, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires shows. The band is in a mint condition. So it just seems that they were on the peak of the quality of their live performance.

Still, to me the Rock Montreal seems to be just a little bit "too-good" to be true. All the instruments and vocals are very isolated and clear. That's well enough, since thay had the multitracks. But isn't this the case with "Live at the Bowl" aswell? Thay had the multitracks for that show aswell. Still the concert from 1982 doesn't sound so "clinical". The sound is more "live" and there are little hitches on the instruments aswell. With modern sound processing they should have been able to make that concert sound as clear and clinical as the Montreal show. Or that's what iI think.

What are your views. Could "Rock Montreal" be purely live (with some odd copy-paste stuff)??


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Bad Seed user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 05 Jun 10, 09:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've mentioned before that I believe quite a bit of Montreal is overdubbed. I'm almost certain NIH has almost entirely been re-done by Freddie at some point. I've never heard him sing the song this way before, and anyone with a good ear could tell that the vocal on that song doesn't sound the same as most of the other tracks.

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Posted: 05 Jun 10, 11:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bad Seed wrote: I've mentioned before that I believe quite a bit of Montreal is overdubbed. I'm almost certain NIH has almost entirely been re-done by Freddie at some point. I've never heard him sing the song this way before, and anyone with a good ear could tell that the vocal on that song doesn't sound the same as most of the other tracks.

============================

It's NOT overdubbed. I have the audience recording from the first night! Freddie's voice is stunning (he gets ALL the Under Pressure high notes)!


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Rick user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 05 Jun 10, 16:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Montreal was an indoor venue whereas MK was outside. This also gives a clear difference in sound quality.


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Posted: 05 Jun 10, 20:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Roger mentioned that taking the bottom membranes from his drum set help give the drum sound a natural and cleaner quality to it.... could that be it???


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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 05:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I hate what they did with the drum sound on the MK release. The original sounds way more natural.


John: "It's the one thing I wish I could do - sing."

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 06:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

my understanding has always been that Live Killers has no overdubs and is completely live as performed, BUT the performances are taken from many shows on the tour and not just one or two shows. Therefore each song may be edited together from half a dozen or so shows, but is all live and not overdubbed.

Can anyone categorically confirm or deny this?

Cheers

Hubb user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 08:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Live Killers has overdubs. Read this http://www.queenlive.ca/lkanalysis.htm

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Right, but the question is... did the overdubs come from other concerts or were they later recorded in the studio?  Until we hear every single concert, we'll never know for sure.  But it's likely that parts of Don't Stop Me Now and We Are The Champions were done in the studio.


"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinski



http://www.queenlive.ca
Hubb user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 10:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sir GH: "But it's likely that parts of Don't Stop Me Now and We Are The Champions were done in the studio."

This is  what I wanted to say :D

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Posted: 06 Jun 10, 15:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Montreal is crystal clear coz its not Montreal!

92Funny user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 07 Jun 10, 15:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Rock Montreal has perfect sound use live magic as an example of how bad a live performance album COULD sound

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Posted: 09 Jun 10, 10:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

They didn't use pitch correction. If you say such a thing you clearly have no idea what an autotune effect sounds like.

Listen to Paul McCartney's last live cd/dvd. It's horrible and it's extremely annoying listening to those robotic voices caused by the autotune pitch correction.


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Posted: 09 Jun 10, 16:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I really do know, how autotune sounds like, being a sound-engineer myself.

This time I'm only meaning the kinf of leveling or slight adjustments with autotune, with a very loose correction. Not to use it as an effect, but just to bring notes a little bit closer to the absolute note. Autotune runs on every record nowadays, even if you wont hear it. Autotune whiich Cher uses is just overdoing it for the hell of it and that's not what I meant.

Montreal being in a indoor venue is of course a good explanation. Would that alone make it sound so much different to, lets say Milton Keynes, a concert that was done 6 months later? Well that was outdoors for sure, but the equipment was pretty much the same. Maybe the thing is that the band was just at its prime as a live act in 1981.


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Posted: 10 Jun 10, 05:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

92Funny wrote: Rock Montreal has perfect sound use live magic as an example of how bad a live performance album COULD sound Fair point, but Live Magic still sounds a hell of a lot better than the Live At Wembley 86/Stadium mixes!!!!

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Posted: 10 Jun 10, 07:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hubb wrote: Live Killers has overdubs. Read this http://www.queenlive.ca/lkanalysis.htm Thanks for the link - very interesting.

This does sesem to back up my theory thought that there WEREN'T overdubs (ie studio ones), but drop ins from, and merges with, other gigs on the tour as I'd thought.

In fact the site confirms this on the thinking behind things like Fat Bottomed Girls not being included because of the vocals usually not being tight - if they were going to overdub in the studio then this would surely be one they would include?

Yes there were parts removed by studio 'trickery' (Roger's vox on Spred Your Wings for example), but it doesn't seem to me that there is anything on Live Killers that isn't actually truly live?

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Posted: 11 Jun 10, 11:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hey, ploughman. With all due respect, I fail to see what's the puzzle here. Given the fact they had the multitracks, and taking into account that a whole lot of painstaking effort was put into producing Rock Montreal's last release, it shouldn't come as a surprise, to my mind, that the final output sounds so nice, especially with all the sound technology out there nowadays - records which have been very well recorded can be made to sound as clear as the Rock Montreal's gig.   

That said, I don't think they resorted much, or at all, to overdubbing. No abstruse sound-engineering concepts here, but just some common sense. 

Just ask yourself some basic questions:

a) If the guys really wanted to smooth all the rough edges, as you seem to suggest, why on earth did they leave "Dragon Attack" as it is, with Freddie fumbling the lines and losing the tempo in a pretty annoying way?

b) Had they gone out of their minds to make ammendments, why didn't they bother to fix Freddie's take on the first verse of the second part of such a crucial song as "Save Me"? One notices quite easily that he forgot the lines and tried to recover by speaking, instead of singing, them. 

Had some other Queen concerts been as well recorded and produced as this one, I think we'd have by now even better sounding gigs out there on DVD or Blu-Ray: Overall, I think their performances in South America, as well as the "short-lived" Crazy Tour and a couple of U.S gigs from the Game Tour, not to mention the killer concerts at Wembley on December 1980, are significantly better than the two Montreal gigs. 

As to overdubbing in general, it may in fact work as a way of doing justice to a great band - we all know that bands tend to get nervous if they are being recorded or, even worse, if there are huge cameras flying around them. Led's "How The West Was Won" has been significantly edited, but does it mean that the legendary quartet couldn't deliver some very good, tight performances, despite the minor flaws? It'd be unfair to Led's legacy and efforts if they released something which didn't do justice to the amazing songs and the outright magnificent band, which was absolutely exciting as a live act. 

Cheers!


Yara
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Posted: 11 Jun 10, 12:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yara!  So nice to see you!

I must know how the Olympics went and if that man liked his soccer ball...

And the sound is great on Montreal because....because.....because French Canadians are very absorbent.  Hope that helps.

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Posted: 11 Jun 10, 13:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There's no rule saying that a band must NEVER, EVER overdub. A live album is a product like any other and the artist who releases it wants it to be the best it can be. Somehow, though, we've convinced ourselves that any editting or tampering with LIVE recordings is sacrelige, like rewriting history!

"No," we cry, "That's not how it was on the night!"

It's curious that this view is only strictly held toward live albums and releases. No one cares that an actor's performance in a movie is overdubbed and editted pretty much all the time now. A studio recording used to be more or less live on the take, with what was played in that moment being the final product, free of overdubs and re-recorded bits, until technology allowed for "perfecting" the music. No one complained about that because the music sounded good.

Alas, though, we want to see the crappy bits, just to remind ourselves that the band is human and capabale of mistakes, just like us, even if it mean putting out a product below their standards.

It always seems to come down to: the Fans are always right, even if it isn't what the band wants.

It used to be that the band dictated its output and the fans could take it or leave.

The artistic statement belongs to the ARTIST and was not predicated on being accepted by its audience.

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Posted: 11 Jun 10, 20:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have to disagree with you, mate. A movie is basically the visual equivalent of a 'studio album', considering the work that goes more into making studio albums / films than with a live release.
Studio recordings by your reasoning are also 'overdubbed' too. You know what, that's how people perfect studio albums and movies, they use the best material and technology possible to do so!